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50 James Joyce Quotes from One of the Finest Novelist

Enjoy these James Joyce quotes from the brilliant author whose works are well known throughout the world.

While James Joyce is most famously known as the author of Ulysses, he has a long list of things that he accomplished. When he was young, he loved to study the works of individuals such as Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle. He eventually learned 17 different languages.

He enjoyed living in different countries and found work as a teacher while also writing. He was praised for having an unconventional style and voice.

His book, Ulysses, was highly controversial in his day and even banned from multiple countries but that didn’t stop people from getting their hands on bootlegged copies of it. The controversy around it only seemed to encourage people to want to read it more. See what you think of his writing in these James Joyce quotes.

Don’t forget to also check out these Thomas Aquinas quotes about faith and life.

James Joyce Quotes About Love

1. “Love loves to love love.” – James Joyce

2. “They lived and laughed and loved and left.” – James Joyce

3. “And yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.” – James Joyce

4. “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.” – James Joyce

5. “Love between man and woman is impossible because there must not be sexual intercourse, and friendship between man and woman is impossible because there must be sexual intercourse.” – James Joyce

6. “I’d love to have the whole place swimming in roses.” – James Joyce

7. “First kiss does the trick. The propitious moment. Something inside them goes pop.” – James Joyce

8. “Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another’s soul.” – James Joyce

9. “Man and Woman, love, what is it? A cork and a bottle.” – James Joyce

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10. “Children must be educated by love, not punishment.” – James Joyce

Inspirational James Joyce Quotes

11. “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

12. “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.” – James Joyce

13. “Your battles inspired me – not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead.” – James Joyce

14. “What’s in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours.” – James Joyce

15. “The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant’s heart on the hillside.” – James Joyce

16. “All things are inconstant except the faith in the soul, which changes all things and fills their inconstancy with light.” – James Joyce

17. “I am proud to be an emotionalist.” – James Joyce

18. “People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but what properly riled them was a bite from a sheep.” – James Joyce

19. “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is my own.” – James Joyce

20. “Fall if you will, but rise you must.” – James Joyce

James Joyce Quotes About Life

21. “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.” – James Joyce

22. “I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” – James Joyce

23. “Life is too short to read a bad book.” – James Joyce

24. “Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.” – James Joyce

25. “One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” – James Joyce

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26. “You can still die when the sun is shining.” – James Joyce

27. “To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.” – James Joyce

28. “Though their life was modest, they believed in eating well.” – James Joyce

29. “To discover the mode of life or of art whereby my spirit could express itself in unfettered freedom.” – James Joyce

30. “We are all born in the same way but we all die in different ways.” – James Joyce

James Joyce quotes from his works

31. “And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.” – James Joyce

32. “His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or reverie, he had heard their tale before.” – James Joyce

33. “He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.” – James Joyce

34. “But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.” – James Joyce

35. “Moments of their secret life together burst like stars upon his memory.” – James Joyce

36. “This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am.” – James Joyce

37. “He thought that he was sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place.” – James Joyce

38. “You behold in me, Stephen said with grim displeasure, a horrible example of free thought.” – James Joyce

39. “For the years, he felt, had not quenched his soul, or hers.” – James Joyce

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40. “By his monstrous way of life, he seemed to have put himself beyond the limits of reality. Nothing moved him or spoke to him from the real world unless he heard it in an echo of the infuriated cries within him.” – James Joyce

More James Joyce Quotes

41. “History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” – James Joyce

42. “Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?” – James Joyce

43. “Too excited to be genuinely happy.” – James Joyce

44. “My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.” – James Joyce

45. “God made food; the devil the cooks.” – James Joyce

46. “There’s no friends like the old friends.” – James Joyce

47. “As you are now so once were we.” – James Joyce

48. “Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.” – James Joyce

49. “Time is, time was, but time shall be no more.” – James Joyce

50.“Thought is the thought of thought.” – James Joyce

What did you learn from these James Joyce quotes?

James Joyce and his family experienced some difficult times when he was a struggling writer but that seemed to come to an end when Ulysses brought so much publicity. While it’s mentioned that he wasn’t always crazy about the attention, it also got his name on the map.

During his life, James Joyce suffered from illnesses that impacted his eyes. There were periods of time when he had to write with red crayon on paper in order to work, which takes “struggling artist” to a whole new level. But he worked through these difficulties to do what he enjoyed—to write.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these James Joyce quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
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